Keith Kennedy is passionate about harnessing technology to help children experience life to the full. Keith is a freelance web developer and business consultant who has been involved on a volunteer level in the Irish education sector for over nine years.
While working with children with special needs in Gaelscoil O’Doghair, Keith observed the trouble these children can have interacting with people and how virtual environments allow them to express themselves in a visual way.
Keith’s idea was to harness the latest technologies to create immersive education platforms that not only teach the children, but make learning a pleasure rather than a chore.
Founded by Keith Kennedy and James Corbett, Daynuv has its roots in the IT department of Gaelscoil Ó Doghair in Co. Limerick. Daynuv is an educational online environment to facilitate children who are physically or intellectually challenged to express themselves to the fullness of their individual abilities. This environment combines computer software and online media to create a graphically immersive virtual world that will act as an educational and social outlet for children with a broad range of disabilities.
Children can be taken on walks in virtual woods, climb mountains, go virtual skydiving – all kinds of experiences that are profound and amazing to someone with physical or intellectual challenges.
Daynuv, in partnership with giftedkids.ie, worked on a ‘Virtual World Primary Scools Project’, which was awarded first runner up in the global Edublog awards for the best educational use of a virtual world. This ICT initiative was aimed at supporting a group of exceptionally able students in Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuairisc, Carlow. The pilot was the first of its kind in Ireland to use 3D modelling software and programming tools to teach part of the primary school curriculum in a learning support setting.
Following this pilot, Daynuv launched Ireland's first education dedicated virtual world in association with six partners, including learning institutions and social projects, drawn from across the country. The aim was to provide an online 'laboratory' and social network where teachers and students alike could build a collaborative learning environment with the same scope and possibility as their unfettered ability to imagine. This project became mission V education, run by previous awardees James Corbett and Margaret Keane, and has now been rolled out to twenty Irish primary schools.
It’s an amazing experience helping someone who cannot walk in real life to jump on a virtual trampoline.